Newspapers in the U.K. are reporting that a cruise ship passenger, who used a cruise in the Caribbean last fall as a cover to smuggle cocaine, has been jailed.
The cruise in question occurred last October (of 2017) and apparently involved the P&O Arcadia.
BBC News reports that a 55 year old British citizen was arrested "as he disembarked a cruise liner at Southampton Docks." According to the the newspaper, approximately three kilos of cocaine was found in his suitcases (photo left). The cocaine reportedly was worth more than £200,000.
The article does not mention the name of the cruise ship or cruise line but the only cruise ship which had returned from a cruise to the Caribbean (including Castries, St. Lucia) in port in Southampton at the end of October of 2017 was P&O’s Arcadia.
The passenger was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison, following a trial at Southampton Crown Court. The National Crime Agency (NCA) reportedly said that the passenger claimed "the cruise had been paid for following a win on the horses, and that he had innocently purchased the suitcases."
The NCA proved that the passenger collected the suitcases in Castries, St Lucia, and that he had been in contact with others suspected of involvement in the importation. A NCA officer reportedly stated that "our investigation involved liaison with law enforcement partners in the Caribbean, and through that, we were able to prove that (his) story was made up . . . it became clear that he had contacts with others involved in drug trafficking on both sides of the Atlantic."
This is not the first time that a passenger aboard the Acadia was arrested for smuggling cocaine from St. Lucia into the U.K. Nine years ago four passengers aboard the Arcadia were arrested (and later convicted and sentenced to jail for 12 years each) for attempting to smuggle nearly 20 kilos of cocaine with an estimated street value of £1.75 million into the port of Southampton, according to the BBC. The drugs had been picked up at the port in Castries.
Each of the passengers reportedly had been caught smuggling the cocaine taped to their bodies (photo right).
Passengers on the P&O Aurora were busted with large quantities of cocaine in separate incidents in January and February of 2012. The passengers were caught smuggling over 40 kilos of cocaine.
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Photo credit: NCA via BBC.